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Language Studies

Hebrew Thoughts Archives

 

  • The word בַּעַל ba‘al (Strong's #1167, x82) often translated as simply "man" x25, "husband" x15, but more accurately and simply as "lord, master or owner" x26 appears in Genesis 20:3 together with its root verb בָּעַל bâ‘al (Strong's #1166, x16). Whilst the verb occurs…
    February 21, 2015
  • Hebrew words are almost universally derived from active verbs hence "love" is not a noun or a state but an action such as "he loved, he is loving". Whilst Greek can say "God is love", Hebrew says "God loves" or "God is a lover".

    This root verb אָהַב (Strong's #157, x208) occurs over 200 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and can range in meaning from physical even gluttonous appetite to God's love for His people. In between are its uses for the love, platonic…

    February 14, 2015
  • מְנוּחַה menûchâh "rest, resting place" (Strong's #4496, x21) like מָנוֹחַ mânôwach "rest" (Strong's #4494, x7) comes from the root verb נוּחַ nûwach (Strong's #5117, x64) "to rest, settle". The first use of either word comes in the Flood narrative where Noah sends out a dove to test…
    February 7, 2015
  • The root verb נוּחַ nûwach (Strong's #5117, x64) "to to rest, settle" suggests relief and rest in the sense of being able to relax, take breath, and breathe out. A place of settled calm. A similar notion may be found in the root verb רוּחַ rûwach (Strong's #7306, x11) which shares the same second syllable sound and means "to breathe" whether as exhalation from which we also get…
    January 31, 2015
  • The first three uses of בָּנה bânâh "to build" (Strong's #1129, x376) are indicative of its range of application. Genesis 2:22 describes God's "building" of a woman out of Adam's "rib" or "side", צֵלָע tsêlâ‘ (Strong's #6763, x41). Next, Genesis 4:17 tells of the offspring of Cain and his wife, Enoch, and his "building" a city…
    January 24, 2015
  • צָרָה tsârâh "trouble" (Strong's #6869, x73) is the feminine of צָרצַר tsar/tsâr "enemy, adversary" (Strong's #6862, x105) from צָרָר tsârâr "to bind, distress, besiege" (Strong's #6887, x58). "Trouble" (x44), "distress, affliction, adversity, anguish" (x5-8), and "tribulation" (x3) are common translations. The root idea seems to be that of contraint or compression due to pressure, lack of space, a narrow or tight environment, or squeezed and closed in on all sides. The idea of being an enemy seems to stem from the…
    January 17, 2015
  • The word אָזן ’âzan "to weigh, balance" (Strong's #239, x1) is probably identical to אָזן ’âzan "to hear" (Strong's #238, x41) through either the idea of scales being balanced…
    December 13, 2014
  • The word אָזן ’âzan "to hear" (Strong's #238, x41) appears to come from a root that may mean to be sharp or pointed, as animal's ears often are, or denominatively from the noun אזן ’ôzen "ear" (Strong's #241, x187). Psalm 135:17 combines the noun with the verb to hear: "They have ears,…
    December 6, 2014
  • The word אזן ’ôzen "ear" (Strong's #241, x187) is a feminine singular noun that also occurs as a plural dual word, functioning a bit like our trousers, since they usually come in pairs. It shows up often in several idiomatic phrases in conjunction with other…
    November 29, 2014
  • The masculine noun עֵזשׂשר ‘êzer means "help" (Strong's #5828, x21) as in the names ‘eben-ezer "stone of help" or Ezra "help", often spelled with an א or a ה at the end…
    November 22, 2014
  • The word מִדְבָּר midh'bâr "wilderness, desert" (Strong's #4057, x271) derives from דָּבַר dâbhar "to speak, arrange/order, lead" (Strong's #1696, x1143) in the sense of "driving to pasture" (Exodus 3:1), rather than being a desolate…
    November 15, 2014
  • The root verb דָּבַר dâbhar "to speak" (Strong's #1696, x1143) gives rise to דָּבָר dâbhâr "word" (Strong's #1697, x1441) which means both the 'word' itself and its accompanying creative 'act' and takes some 85 different English words…
    November 8, 2014
  • בִּין bîyn s a root verb meaning "to distinguish" (Strong's #995, x170) in the sense of gaining understanding by being able to discern, separate, or decide between. A derivative construct noun is בַּין bayn that translate…
    November 1, 2014
  • The monosyllabic כַּף kaph (Strong's #3709, x191) meaning "palm of the hand" is actually from כָּפַף kâphaph (Strong's #3721, x5) "to bow/bend", hence to create a "hollow". It is also the name of the Hebrew letter פ which resembles a cupped hand or wings. A similar verb…
    October 25, 2014
  • כָּפַר kâphar is a root verb meaning "to cover" (Strong's #3722, x102) in a practical sense with either pitch or hair, in an ethical sense by extension, "to atone". It occurs most frequently in this latter regard in the books of Leviticus (x44) and Numbers (x15). It is arguable, that if anything, the verb may have come from the noun כּפֶר kôpher (Strong's #3724, x17) "pitch" and by application "ransom" or "appeasement", covering for something via a bribe…
    October 18, 2014

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 4th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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KJ Went has taught biblical Hebrew, hermeneutics and Jewish background to early Christianity. The "Biblical Hebrew made easy" course can be found at www.biblicalhebrew.com.

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